To keep moving forward with my yoga teacher development, I have to accept I am a beginning teacher. This involves letting go of negative self-talk, so my dreams don’t self-destruct in five words, “I am not good enough.” The image of the frog and the egret first appeared in my life as a pixelated, dot matrix printed, hand-colored piece of paper hanging in my mom’s colleague’s office. I accompanied my mom to work many days, never on take your kid to work day, those were not around yet. My mom worked full-time and raised me mostly on her own. She did not give up. She was a beginning female attorney in the 1970’s. How much did her positive aspirations lead her despite societal dissonance for women attorneys? I would say 99%.
Can I channel this Never Give Up, Always Let Go aptitude for my evolution as a teacher? Yes. But it is hard. I don’t like scrapping around for students, I don’t like flubbing through nervous tweaks, I don’t like being at the bottom. I wish I could ascend to yoga greatness now that I graduated with a 200-RYT. What will get me through this slump? More yoga, more teaching, more critiques, more assessments, more reviews. Already I have received a critique from a dear friend that at first made me jump back five feet in revulsion to her non-glowing remarks, but then I accepted I am a beginning teacher and this acceptance revealed her words are kindness. Her time taking my class was kindness. She is here to help me. So I teach. And I ask for earnest critique. I improve. I move through my animal named poses and one-day will be amongst the liberated frog and the lanky egret in my soundfront bliss, sharing with others my new found, slowly-cultivating Self, affectionately named Yodananda.
Keep me in your thoughts and see my golden light inside as I learn through teaching. I see yours. Namaste
POSE: Tadasana – Mountain Pose. In my teacher training I bounced from pose to pose often unsure how to link them. My instructions were missing the ligaments, the glue. Now I hone these areas with a pause, a breath cycle, a teaching moment about ease + stability (sthira sukham). Mountain Pose helps me regain my composure, as a teacher. It can appear at any time. It can weave into a Namaskara, a standing pose, a meditation. When self-doubt clouds my mind as I teach, I draw us into Mountain Pose. I remind myself “I am only able to teach with grace. And I only have grace when I am at ease and I can rely on my training. Like great mountains – stable foundation and ease despite the weather” To my great indebtedness that is what I learned in teacher training. Not the right sequence, but the right way to improve my Self. The right way to allow my Self to learn and to teach. The right way to authentically carry out my life on + off the mat.
ESSENTIAL OIL: Clove is the essential oil I have relied on to strengthen my resolve on this uphill path. Clove is an oil for boundary, integrity, and grit. ‘No grit – No pearl’. The tobacco essence conjures imagery of salt of the earth, hard-working WPA builders on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Dorthea Lange’s “Migrant Mother”, and other Depression Era stills. Americans who pressed on, despite hard times. The oil helps me fortify my resiliency. I have faith the improvement I gain will bring me great joy. It already is teaching me my depths.
MANTRA: If not me, then who?